The Smiths have enjoyed this 5 acre property for decades, but the time had come for a change. Caring for the land became difficult, their grown children all had homes and families of their own, and they wanted their estate to be a legacy and not a burden. They felt tension: on the one hand, they wanted to sell 4 acres in order to reduce their footprint and more easily transfer wealth to the next generation. On the other hand, they wanted to continue to live in their home, and they cared deeply about what a developer would do with the land they loved. Simply selling to the highest bidder, and having no voice in the outcome, was out of the question.

They were initially approached by a developer who wanted the Smiths to own the property during the multi-year development process, typically called “owner financed development.” This didn’t meet their estate planning objectives, so they turned that offer down.

Then they decided to try to develop the property themselves, and they quickly discovered how much time and expertise was required. They wanted to spend the next few years with their friends and family, not filling out paperwork and paying fees.

Finally, they turned to a close family friend, who also happens to be a long-standing real estate broker in Bellingham, named Greg Grant. The Smiths told Greg, “We’re looking for a developer who has both the financial strength to pay cash, and has the trust and integrity to honor our desires to build a neighborhood that we can be proud of.” Greg connected the Smiths with Cultivate Development.

“Because Cultivate cares about stewardship, we see the world in a similar way, which makes partnering with this family so much easier. Our family has lived here for many years, and we wanted the houses they would build to blends in with existing neighborhood. Even after the land sale was closed, they continued to meet with us and helped us be a part of the process.”